With Covid Passport in hand, international fashion enthusiasts recommenced upon the five-city circuit in Copenhagen this month. Thirty-eight shows from a range of Nordic, German, British, and even a French designer kicked off the season. Jumping back into ambitious itineraries, from early morning press breakfasts to late evening designer dinners, proved an adrenaline shock to many. Slipping out of coordinating athleisure – quite possibly courtesy of showcase designer ‘7 Day’s Active’ – and into something with a pinch seemed daunting. Despite Denmark’s tag as host of the greenest fashion week, something more symbolic to accessorise the avant garde collections would determine whether fashion week was, indeed, evergreen.
Rabens Saloner by Adam Katz Sinding
The last minute announcement of CPHFW x Youtube partnership, delivering live streaming of all shows and talks on the schedule, extended a double edge sword to SS22 anticipators. As the in-house team remarked, “bringing the importance of conversations, interactions, and collaborative discussions to the forefront this season” proved crucial in ‘selling’ the authentic Nordic experience. Further, manifesting such a lasting memory could not come in the form of single use plastic souvenirs upon guests’ seats.
Copenhagen Fashion Week accommodated high-life-turned-creatures-of-comfort by making a conscious and memorable fashion week experience a prospect closer to reality than the imagination. While sustainable guidelines conformed showcase designers to a strict standard of conduct, the ‘Small Talks, Big Conversations’ series conversely pushed boundaries outwards in challenging the new normal. To make ambitious diaries all the more attainable and thoughtfully conducted, the team armed guests with refillable water bottles, vegan, recyclable lunch boxes, and emission-free rides off to the next show.
Rabens Saloner by Adam Katz Sinding
The stimulation frenzy bubbling beneath our name-tagged seats led lost eyes to question whether one would be able to stand or sit in silence beside familiar faces as per the status quo pre-pandemic? As booming speakers and excitement issued organic smiles and a waterfall of laughs, hugs and cheering, the front row proved no place for even the most respected guests to uphold their cool composure. One wondered, and eventually began to ask, what had those to our left and right experienced in void between our last encounters.
Curiosity of tales from lockdown #1,2,3,4… how far had one’s story placed them from the current reality? How had such experiences adapted the lens through which we viewed what now waltzed, strutted, and posed in front of us? Were we further invested or did wild garlic picking with mom or front porch coffee breaks with the neighbors take the cake over the fifth layer of under eye concealer?
In processing such a void between diverse realities, a place for vanity quickly proved off the catwalk. Honest remarks from renowned press who spent months comfortably in their brother’s trackies, to a glint from Sophie Roe in the Hotel Sanders loo as I blew dry my rain drenched ensemble on Day 1 from the bike ride over… we were all fish out of water, or simply just human once again. Would this translate to the big stage was the question. Would we, should we conform to the puppet show?
Stripping away the bullshit, what fostered the lasting impact of the whirlwind week came from reading the room, trusting the voice, and buying into the seller. As JOOR spokeswoman commented, attracting visitors once again fulfilled a crucial element in normalising the latest, most conscious technology, and fabrics. Some would argue the skeptical nature instilled by months in and out of lockdown instilled a keen, honest impression in discerning the juxtaposition of honest luxury and green-washing. Looking deliberately into the eyes of the system, gauging what was equally authentic and ambitious, we had both mentally and physically come too far to be fooled..
Google-eyeing recycled, offcut, sparkling garments and shimmying to a great playlist accompanying a catwalk; laughing at the petit salad horderves in opting for a Danish rye roll, was this roar of laughter what the roaring 20s called for?
When outfit changes quickly exceed hours of shut eye, what brings us back to why we do it all to begin with?
Denmark proved to be the perfect season kick off to settle the jury. From luminescent layered dressing glowing beneath the bridge – organic wine in hand – to honks of approval at drive-in style cinematic experiences. Blistered toes and late night fast food run proved worth every blinding paparazzi flash and restless commute alike.
A devil wearing Ganni proved out of place and off the guest list this season, as fashion week is here to stay in its best form yet.
“SS22 #Green … But will #fashionweek prove evergreen?”
By Isabel Froemming
Isabel Froemming is a contributing fashion sustainability writer, model, and activist based in London. Her research focuses on transparent supply chains and gender equity in Indonesia. Isabel ran communications for Copenhagen Fashion Week for SS21 and prior to that acted as an editorial associate at sustainable e-tailer Rêve en Vert.
Runway images courtesy of VOCAST